Blueberry Sour Cream Cakes with Cookie Butter Frosting

speculoos 6

You have not lived until you’ve tried the wonder that is Speculoos. What is this gibberish, you say? Is she making Harry Potter references again?

Usually, that would be a fair assumption, but this time I’m talking about the delicious Dutch cookie butter spread. My levels of consumption have grown perilously high of late, even to eating it straight from the jar with a spoon. So, naturally, I wondered how I could incorporate it into a becma bakes recipe.

Happily, I had a fresh jar of Speculoos in the cupboard, but if you don’t have it there is a handy list here via Sweetest Kitchen. It’s also available via Amazon. The recipe would also work nicely with a nut butter like peanut, almond or cashew, and you can achieve a cookie butter vibe by adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and cardamom to the frosting mixture.

The cupcakes are lovely and moist thanks to the addition of light sour cream and are super quick to make. The spiced, caramelly frosting and blueberries set each other off beautifully, too. I spent a bit of time fussing around with the presentation (I had run out of piping bags, the calamity!), but they will be just as tasty when topped with a quick spread of frosting and devoured quick smart.

You’ll need-

For the cupcakes: 

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 125g blueberries, fresh or frozen

For the frosting: 

  • 1/3 cup Speculoos or substitute
  • 45g butter, melted
  • 45g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • extra blueberries or edible flowers to decorate, if desired

Method-

1. Pre-heat oven to 190° and line a 12 hole cupcake tray.

2. Sift your dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine.

speculoos 1

3. Whisk wet ingredients together in another large bowl or jug until combined (this reminds me of making pancake batter!)

4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the contents of the jug. Stir until just combined, taking care not to over mix.

speculoos 2

5. Add the blueberries and fold through your cupcake batter.

speculoos 3

6. Spoon batter into the prepared tray- make sure you don’t fill the cases more than 2/3 full, or you’ll end up with mushroom cupcakes!

7. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, until just golden brown and the top springs back when tested.

8. For the frosting, add your Speculoos, butter and icing sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on medium until combined.

9. Add milk and vanilla essence- stir in on a low speed and then increase to high and mix until your frosting is light and fluffy. The flavour is amazing.

10. When cool, ice your cupcakes and top with decorations of your choice.

speculoos 9

 

My family gave these top marks at a recent birthday party, so I hope you’ll give the recipe a try and let me know what you think. At the very least, get your hands on some cookie butter!

 

speculoos 15speculoos 11

 

 

Advertisements

Lavender Chocolate Shortbread

DSC_0443

Yep, I have a thing for shortbread. Salted caramel is my main love, but I keep coming back to these little buttery, crumbly, not-too-sweet bundles.

This recipe is adapted from one of my earlier posts for Basil Flower Shortbread, and works on the same principle- working an unexpected flavour into a familiar base.

You can incorporate as much or as little (or indeed, none) of the floral element as you like, by adding or omitting the Lavender oil and flowers. I bought my Lavender oil from my local chemist, it’s not too expensive and is also really nice to add to caramels.

You can use either fresh lavender gathered from a garden that you know is pesticide free, or use the dried culinary version. Mine came from the dangerous store that is The Essential Ingredient.

The floral flavour is subtle and unexpected, which brought most of my taste testers back for a second helping and a “what is that interesting flavour?”. The best thing is, too, that the recipe makes 40-50 biscuits, so you can enjoy them in a big group or out of a jar with tea and a book at home.

Speaking of books, The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly and its sequels are the reason this post comes so long after the last one. It’s the fourth or fifth time I’ve read them and they are so amazing that they make me blind to all other pursuits!

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you decide to give it a try! Thanks for reading becma bakes.
You’ll need:DSC_0408

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp dried or fresh lavender
  • Drop of lavender oil
  • 240g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
  • 100g dark chocolate, chopped

Method:

1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine.

DSC_0413

2. Add butter and rub in with the tips of your fingers until mixture is combined and has a crumbly texture.

4. Add lavender elements and chocolate and mix into your shortbread base with a spoon or your fingers; whichever you find more easy.

DSC_0415

4. Press mixture into a firm ball shape and wrap in cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180ºC and grease two large oven sheets.

6. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface and use a cookie cutter of your choice (in size & shape) to cut out your biscuits. Roll out and repeat until you’ve used as much of the dough as is practical. Check out the below picture- you really do get a good number for the work!

DSC_0425

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes- they won’t go too brown and will firm up more as they cool, so be aware of the smells coming out of the oven to help you judge when they’re ready!

8. Cool on the trays and store in an airtight container. Enjoy at any time of the day- they are especially tasty with a cup of tea or coffee.

DSC_0460

DSC_0476

Apple and Earl Grey Cupcakes

 

DSC_0477

These babies have taken me a couple of tries to perfect, hence the lack of posts in the last couple of weeks. The photos aren’t my best as they were taken in a little bit of a hurry on a late work night- but I think you can still see the pretty end result!

Earl Grey is my favourite tea and I’ve been thinking about a way to incorporate it into a recipe for a while. The little apple cakes and sweet, tea-infused icing work to balance each other and make for a pretty morning tea or party treat.

The tea flavour of course isn’t going to appeal to everyone but it’s something different and definitely worth a go if you are a fan of  the Bergamot brew yourself. You could even swap it out for an English Breakfast or Darjeeling.

I came up with two different looks for the toppings, and I think they both turned out nicely.  The icing is light and fluffy and pipes well- you can just as easily leave the food colouring out for a more simple look.

Next time I think I’ll try crushing the violets and combining them with the edible glitter- purple is the way to go and the violets are always well received my taste testers.

Which decorations are your favourite- do you have any go to toppers like me and my violets?

You’ll need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups self raising flour, sifted
  • 1 earl grey tea bag
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped in thin wedges

For the icing:

  • 2 earl grey tea bags
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 100g butter, half melted, half softened
  • blue and red food colouring
  • decorations of your choice (I used edible glitter, crystallised violets and freeze dried raspberries)

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 180°and line a 12 hole muffin tray with muffin cases of your choice.

2.  Place teabag and boiling water in a medium bowl and brew for recommended time. Add chopped apple and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes.

DSC_0440

3. Using an electric mixer, mix egg, sugars and vanilla essence on medium speed until combined. Add butter and mix on high until the mixture is combined and slightly paler in colour. Add salt.

4. Add half the flour and mix on a low speed until combined, then add half of the milk. Repeat.

DSC_0442

5. Drain apples and add to the mixture, folding in gently.

6. Spoon the finished mixture into the prepared cases, filling them to no more than 3/4 capacity.

DSC_0446
This is actually a shot of my first batch- they were slightly overfilled and I was left with mushroom top cupcakes- so be cautious, cooks!

 

7. Bake cakes for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in tray for 5 minutes and then move to wire cooling rack.

8. Meanwhile, prepare your Earl Grey icing. Microwave the milk in a small glass or ceramic bowl for 30 seconds on medium heat and then add your teabags and brew. Add a splash of boiling water if necessary to add a bit of heat.

9. Mix the butter on high for 1-2 minutes or until beginning to turn pale and fluffy. Reduce speed and gradually add icing sugar.

10. With the mixer on low, pour in the milk-tea brew, squeezing the bags to make sure you have enough flavour. Add a small amount of each food colouring and stir through, repeating until you have your desired colour. I was able to achieve a pale purple which I really liked the look of.

11. Mix the icing on high until you are satisfied that it is nice and light and fluffy- a few minutes should be long enough.

11. Using a fluted piping attachment, pipe the prepared icing onto the cooled cakes (I’m still perfecting my piping technique, but the texture of the icing is forgiving, and your decorations will help distract from any imperfections).

12. Decorate with your chosen toppers and serve on pretty floral plates!

 

Let me know how you find this recipe- it’s one I’m quite happy with as it has taken some experimentation to get right!

DSC_0478DSC_0479

DSC_0482

 

 

 

ANZAC day

anzac 3

Tomorrow is ANZAC day, a day when we commemorate the services and sacrifices of  members of the Australian and New Zealand armed forces. This year is a particularly important day as the centenary of the landing of the Anzacs on the Gallipoli Penninsula.

We observe a number of traditions on the 25th, the most important being the dawn services held across the country. A large number of Australians also enjoy visiting their local to play a game or five of Two Up.

Anzac biscuits are a staple in any Australian biscuit jar year round, but really have their time in the spotlight near the day- so much so that I had to visit three supermarkets to track down my golden syrup!

I figure that everyone has their own recipe for Anzac biscuits, passed down from Grandmas and Aunties, but I thought I would do a short post including my own variation. This one is super easy as it is all done in one saucepan- I like any recipe that minimizes my washing up!

I like to add some chopped Turkish dried apricots to my mixture for some extra sweetness and chewiness – everyone at work who tried them seemed to enjoy the addition. Plus, the link to our Turkish friends is a nice touch.

You’ll need:

  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp bi carb soda
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100g chopped dried apricots

Method:

1. Pre heat oven to 160 C and grease two oven trays

2. Stir buter, syrup and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.

3. Remove from the heat and stir through bi carb soda (I love this part).

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until completely combined.

5. Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture between your palms and place on the prepared trays, 2cm apart. Flatten slightly with a floured fork.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on how chewy you like them) and cool on trays.

 

I’m still working on the promised passion fruit recipe- but keep an eye out for some more delicious sweets soon.

 

Easter Spice Biscuits

egg bucket

For Easter, I wanted to create a variation on my Christmas Jumbles recipe, because we aren’t already eating enough sweet goodies over the weekend…

These tasty biscuits are nice and soft and flavoured with spices reminiscent of hot cross buns and a bit of cocoa. I dipped them in melted chocolate and piped on contrasting decorations to make easter egg and hot cross bun desgins.  I think they look pretty cute for the short amount of time I spent decorating them. They were a big hit at work and I plan to make another batch before the weekend is out!

Please forgive the lack of methd photos and the not so great photos of the finished product – I made these quite late on a work night. My soundtrack for this recipe was equal parts Disney, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones- I’ve been reading an interesting biography about the Stones and thus they have been on high rotation!

eggys

 You’ll need: 

For the biscuits-

  • 60g butter
  • 1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (270g) golden syrup
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1/2 cup (75g) self raising flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (375g) plain flour
  • 1/.2 teaspoon bicarb (baking) soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 4 tsfffp cocoa or cacao powder

For the topping-

  • 200g dark chocolate melts
  • 200g white chocolate melts
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Food colouring, if you like
  • Food shimmer

Method-

1. Combine the butter, dark brown sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until smooth.

2. Add hot mixture to a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Add egg to cooled mixture and stir until combined.

3. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients and stir until combined, and repeat. Taste dough and add more cocoa or spice if desired.

fffffffff

4. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, with floured hands, until it loses its stickiness (about 5 minutes).

DSC_0187

5. Wrap dough in cling-wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease & flour two oven trays.

7. Remove chilled dough from the fridge and roll out to about 0.5cm thickness and cut out your shapes, with a lightly floured biscuit cutter and placing onto trays. To get my easter egg shape, I cut out circles and then used my fingers to make them longer and more egg-like.

8. Bake for around 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them and turning or swapping shelves if necessary, and remove when just golden brown and fragrant. Cool on trays for 5-10 minutes and then place on wire racks to cool completely.

9. Place chocolate in wide, shallow glass or stoneware bowls. Heat in bursts of 30 seconds at medium heat in microwave, stirring at each interval until melted. Add a tablespoon of oil to each and stir to combine.

10. Carefully dip the top of each cooled biscuit into one of the melted chocolates and place on a sheet of baking paper to cool.

11. Using a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off, pipe contrasting or coloured chocolate onto your dipped biscuit top and dust with shimmer if desired.

12. These biscuits are a delicious Easter treat and will keep for at least a week in a container, or in cellophane bags for gifting.

good friday

p.s. If you like my lovely vintage ironstone bowl, take a look at acreativelifestyle on Etsy, it’s curated by a lady in Tasmania and features a great collection of kitchen and homewares at really great prices.

easter

Basil Flower Shortbread

basil 3

Our basil is in flower at the moment, and it inspired me to call my Grandma and ask for her Aunt Maise’s shortbread recipe – she’s been promising it to me for a while.

I’d read a recipe for herb flower shortbread in Cooking With Flowers by Miche Bacher (such a beautiful book), and thought I would combine that idea with the Scottish classic.

The basil flowers add a subtle point of difference to the otherwise familiar biscuits. If you prefer, the flowers can be left out altogether or exchanged for other herb flowers like rosemary, oregano or lavender, depending on what you have in the garden.

I had my good headphones on for this bake and I must admit to grooving around the kitchen a whoooole lot while preparing and washing up. It was a Genesis and Led Zeppelin heavy shuffle.

I exercised both days this weekend (including a 36km bike ride this morning!) and I think that’s why I feel super energetic tonight.

DSC_0548

You’ll need

  • 225 unsalted butter, softened and chopped
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice flour, sifted
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • small pinch sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp basil flowers
  • extra caster sugar for topping, if desired

Method

1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.

2. Add butter to bowl and rub into dry ingredients using the tips of your fingers. This should take around 10 minutes and leave you with a well combined ball of dough, a bit like pastry.

3. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate until firm, around 45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180ºC and grease a large oven sheet.

5. Cut chilled dough into two equal portions and roll out into rectangular lengths around 10cm wide.

DSC_0529

6. Cut into pieces around 2-3cm wide and place on the prepared tray. Prick biscuits with a fork and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden.

DSC_0531

7. Sprinkle biscuits with the extra sugar and allow to cool.

Grandma used to make her shortbread for my Aunty and Uncle’s cafe and loves to tell the story of a chef who tried it and declared it the best he’d ever tasted.

DSC_0534

I realise that these photos aren’t the best, and I do apologise, but I think Grandma’s story should convince you to give this shortbread a try next time you’re after something easy for afternoon tea or lunches.

Have a great week!

basil 5

Choc Baileys Tarts

DSC_0305

I do apologise for the long delay between posts, I have been doing a bit of experimenting in the kitchen of late, as well as working hard at my new job!

My wonderful friends and I had a pool party yesterday and, as designated dessert maker, I adapted a recipe I’ve made a couple of times before.

I love chocolate tarts and they are a pretty regular fixture on my special occasion dessert list. I originally made this recipe as a large tart but have found it easier to serve and that the filling sets more quickly in individual tart form. The fact that they look super cute is just a bonus! The recipe is easily adapted to be gluten free by simply exchanging the flours for gluten free alternatives.

The tart case is a chewy, nutty adaptation of the base I use for my salted caramel slice, and goes beautifully with the rich chocolate-liquer filling. I topped each tart with a candied pecan, not the prettiest decoration, but they add a nice bit of extra crunch and nuttiness.These were a real hit and tasted great accompanied by some fresh berries and ice cream.

I always have music on at home,  especially when I’m baking. My soundtrack for recipe was Paul McCartney and Wings’ album Red Rose Speedway. I had to have a bit of fun with the sleeve, it fit too well.

red rose chocolate tart

As Paul says, ‘Get On The Right Thing’ – give these tarts a go!

You will need:

Hazelnut tart cases:

  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (100g) hazelnut meal
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Choc-Baileys filling:

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream Liquer

Candied pecans (if desired- plain pecans or hazelnuts will also work on top!):

  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC and line a 12 hole muffin tin with rectangular strips of baking paper, with one end sticking over the edge of the cup (this means the cups stay well-shaped- no paper folds sticking in, and are easy to remove).

2. Mix butter, hazelnut meal, flours, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl until well combined.

3. Press balls of mixture into prepared tin, making the base reasonably thick and pressing up the sides, trying to keep the sides even and not too bulky- you need room for the filling after all!

DSC_0289

4. Bake for around 15 minutes or until nicely browned. They should have puffed up a little bit in the centre at this point, and I use the back of a rounded measuring spoon to gently press the sides of the still-hot cases and make a nice rounded bowl for the chocolate filling to come. Let cool completely before filling.

DSC_0292

5. I made the candied pecans while my tart cases were cooling. If you would like some to top your tarts (or just to eat on their own), simply stir the sugar, water and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the nuts and stir until the mixture starts to turn golden and bubble, keep stirring for a couple of minutes to make sure they are all well coated and then carefully turn out onto a piece of baking paper to cool.

DSC_0296

6. Add chocolate, cream, vanilla and Baileys to a medium mixing bowl and stir over a pot of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the surface. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth and well combined.

7. Pour mixture into cups until full, I created some cool marbling on a couple of the tarts by using a little measuring cup with a pouring lip with a little bit of cream coating the sides. Will definitely do it to all of them next time, test out my rusty barista skills.

8. Place tarts in the fridge until set and top with candied pecans to serve. So good!

DSC_0312

Some becma bakes fans:

DSC_0302
Jackie couldn’t wait to dig in…
DSC_0299
Two thumbs up from noted food critic Keira.

Salted Caramel Slice!

DSC_0241

You might have already noticed my fondness for salted caramel goodies.

It began in 2011 at an amazing chocolate shop in Camden Passage, London called Paul A. Young Fine Chocolates. Their sea salted caramel was a revelation and I have been a devotee ever since.

That devotion means salted caramel appears in my kitchen on a pretty regular basis; this incarnation is a twist on a well loved classic and is definitely one of my favourites.

I love it so much that I usually give most of it away so I don’t indulge too much!

You will need:

Base

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 120g butter, melted

Salted Caramel filling 

  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 30g butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • about 2 tsp sea salt flakes

DSC_0212Chocolate 

  • 180g dark eating chocolate (I used Cadbury Old Gold)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Method 

1. Preheat oven to 180C and grease and line a 20x30cm slice tin.

2. Stir the sifted flours, coconut, sugar and butter in a bowl until combined.

3. Press base mixture into prepared tin and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until slightly browned.DSC_0203

4. Meanwhile, heat condensed milk, golden syrup, 30g butter and 1tsp salt flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously for about 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 2 minutes and then carefully taste the still hot mixture, adding the rest of the salt if desired.

5. Spread salted caramel over base, sprinkling with more sea salt flakes if desired, and return to oven for 10 minutes.

DSC_0226

6. Remove slice from oven and cool.

7. Stir chocolate pieces and oil in a small saucepan over low heat until melted, then pour over cooled slice, smoothing with a spoon if necessary.

DSC_0230

8. Refrigerate slice for 3 hours or chocolate has hardened.

9. Cut into around 30 pieces with a hot knife.

I sometimes top the slice with additional salt flakes, like Himalayan pink salt, to finish the look. I didn’t this time because I had added salt between the chocolate and caramel layers, and because it wouldn’t have stayed on top for the journey in for morning tea at work.

DSC_0255

This recipe yields a nice big batch that will have you firmly in the good books with friends and family. Plus, the satisfaction of eating something this mindbogglingly delicious is always amplified when you’ve made it yourself.

Have a great week and happy baking!

Passionfruit Melting Moments

passionnnnnI’m a sucker for a good biscuit.

The passionfruit vine on our fence is going crazy at the moment (it isn’t even planted in our backyard, thank you neighbours!), so I’ve been incorporating the flavour into lots of my baking.

The tangy passionfruit flavour goes really nicely with the crumbly, buttery biscuits. Perfect with a cup of tea or as a late night treat.

I made the biscuits purple to evoke the contrast of the passionfruit shell with the yellow pulp. I probably didn’t achieve the perfect colour but I still think they look pretty. So, food colouring  is totally optional here.

You will need:

Biscuits

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • red and blue food colouring, if desired
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cornflour, sifted

DSC_0177

Passionfruit butter cream

  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp passionfruit juice, seeds removed

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160ºC and line two oven trays with baking paper.

2. Beat butter, vanilla, salt and icing sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add food colouring if desired, and stir to achieve a light purple mixture.

DSC_0164
I love my Kenwood Chef!

3. Add flours in two batches, stirring between additons.

4. Using lightly floured hands, roll generous teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on prepared trays, leaving 2cm spaces between each of the biscuits. Flatten slightly with a lightly floured fork.

DSC_0175

5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes and stand on trays to cool.

6. Meanwhile, make the butter cream. Beat butter and icing sugar (does anyone else hate sifting opened icing sugar as much as I do!?) until light and fluffy. Stir in passionfruit juice until combined.

DSC_0178

7. Sandwich biscuits with about a teaspoon of the butter cream. Mmm mm!

Makes about 20 filled biscuits.

DSC_0191

Little Lemon Cheesecakes

I love these little cold set cheesecakes for their ease and light but indulgent taste. They are simple to make and look great set out at a party or dinner- plus, you won’t need to fire up the oven.

I was first inspired to make them as a canvas for the gorgeous salade de fleurs I found at The Essential Ingredient, and have varied the topping to include fresh violets, candied flowers and lemon rind.They look lovely with berries, too- basically you want to pair them with something colourful and tasty!

My most recent batch were for New Years Eve, and I was rushing to leave (typical Becma) so I didn’t get a chance to get any photos of the process, but it’s fairly simply to follow.

Ingredients 

Base 

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted.
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind, finely grated

Filling

  • 300ml single cream
  • Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 250g icing sugar, sifted
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon rind, finely grated

Decoration 

I suggest: Salade de fleurs, fresh violets, candied flowers, lemon rind and fresh berries.

Method 

1. Line a 12 hole muffin tray using squares of baking paper (or paper cupcake cases, if you’re in a hurry).

2. Break up the biscuits using a rolling pin or food processor until you have mostly fine crumbs (I like a few bigger bits for texture). Add the butter and rind and stir or process until well combined.

3. Place about 2 tablespoons of base mixture into each of the lined spots and press down. You want nice thick bases for your cheesecakes, so use a bit more mixture if you have leftovers, just make sure you don’t go above the halfway point. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until firm.

4. Beat the cream in a large bowl with an electric mixer until it nearly holds its shape but not quite, then beat in softened cream cheese until smooth.

5. Add juice and rind and begin beating on a medium speed, gradually adding icing sugar until the mixture is smooth and mostly free of lumps.

6. Spoon mixture on top of the prepared bases (still in tray) and place in the freezer for at least two hours. Remove baking paper from frozen cheesecakes and move to fridge shortly before serving. Decorate with whatever you have chosen and serve with berries, if desired.

Yum!

DSC_0114